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This week we spent some time reviewing the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Nano – the company’s thinnest and lightest ThinkPad at less than two pounds. As usual, losing weight comes with some tradeoffs, and Cherlynn Low tells us where the X1 Nano might let you down. We also played around with the Poly Effects Beebo, an ambitious virtual modular synthesizer shaped like a guitar pedal that Terrence O’Brien says is no more difficult to use than a smartphone. And Nicole Lee let the Amazon Echo Show 10’s rotating display follow her around her kitchen to see if this new (and somewhat creepy) feature is worth $ 250.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget
Lenovo’s Thinkpad line is known for reliable performance, great keyboards, and long-lasting batteries. The company’s new X1 Nano, which has an updated design and improved display, is notable for its weight of less than two pounds and being one of the first laptops to achieve Intel Evo certification. Cherlynn Low took a lot of pleasure in the $ 1,399 laptop, namely the 2.1GHz 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, the physical webcam shutter, and the 16:10 display
The X1 Nano is almost identical to the X1 Carbon and, like all Thinkpad laptops, meets the military specifications (MIL-STD-810H), which makes it quite durable. The display is a 2K panel that supports Dolby Vision and achieves a brightness of 450 nits, but does not offer any touchscreen functions. It also has Dolby Atmos speakers, which Cherlynn found surprisingly loud, and four 360-degree microphones that are designed to improve audio quality during video conferencing. In this case, however, the compromise for a light and thin laptop is battery life: Cherlynn was only able to get around 9 hours out of this machine.
Terrence O’Brien / Engadget
Poly Effects actually released the Beebo earlier this year, but the company recently merged the firmware with its other modular pedal, the Digit. According to Terrence O’Brien, this created a superpedal that is basically a virtual modular synthesizer in a guitar pedal format. The Beebo has a 5-inch touchscreen that makes it smaller, and Terrence said if you can use a smartphone, you can probably figure that device out.
When testing it, Terrence said it was a versatile and complex touchscreen guitar pedal that was easy to navigate with a bright user interface and small, attractive icons. However, he found that some of the modules were a bit inconsistent and most often he used the Amp Sim, Cab Sim, and Convolution Reverb modules. The only blatant hole in the lineup is the lack of a gripper. That being said, he found joy in experimenting with the Beebo and, despite its flaws, found it to be a completely unique and powerful piece of gear.
Amazon’s 3rd generation Echo Show 10 moves with you
Nicole Lee / Engadget
Nicole Lee admits she was skeptical of the new Amazon Echo Show 10. The device differs from previous models in that a display is mounted on a pivoting base so that users can rotate and follow them so that the screen is always visible. At $ 250, it’s expensive too, which makes it more of an investment than the $ 130 Echo Show 8. However, after Nicole tested it in her kitchen, she found the pan feature more useful than she’d thought (if also a bit scary at first)).
The Echo Show 10 has a 6.7-inch base and 9.9-inch display, which means it takes up a lot of space – and it also needs space to pivot. Nicole said she thinks it is best to watch videos because you will never miss an important moment with the screen always in view. She often used it to follow recipe instructions as she could keep an eye on things while moving around the kitchen fetching ingredients or washing her hands. The Echo Show 10 was smart enough to keep her and her husband in frame and focus on them again when he got out of the frame. In practice, however, the pan and zoom functions were sometimes inconsistent and as an Amazon device, some Google apps such as YouTube and Nest cameras lack functionality.
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget
Externally, the MSI GS66 Stealth doesn’t look much different than the previous year’s model. It still has the same sleek and sturdy aluminum frame, weighs 4.6 pounds, a solid range of ports, a backlit LED keyboard, and a large trackpad. However, it now includes NVIDIA’s new RTX 30 series GPUs and a 2K screen. This makes it one of the first gaming notebooks with such a panel. That middle ground between a 1080p and 4K display delivers a sharp picture, and the updated GPU offers a fast refresh rate that makes for smoother gameplay.
Devindra Hardawar took the new model for a spin and was delighted with the results of his battery tests, an area where many gaming laptops stall. The GS66 Stealth lasted 8 hours and 25 minutes during our benchmark test, an hour more than last year. It’s not exactly every gamer’s dream machine, however: they found the keyboard a little mushy while typing, and the 1440p resolution isn’t the best for streaming video. Like most gaming laptops, the GS66 Stealth gets quite warm at the bottom. By far the biggest downside, however, are the fans, which were loud enough for Devindra to recommend using a headset while the machine was reaching its limits.